Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 1 Monday July 21, 2008


Getting a little ahead on my blog entries because there will be a four-day stretch where I won’t have time to blog.

This is the first of a series of posts recalling my third annual trip to Seattle. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of five years later or to add further clarification; I use “NOW” to denote such cases. This was the first year I had a digital, not film camera on a Seattle trip.

Well unfortunately I didn't make it through customs and had to return... what's that? If my trip got cancelled I'd have e-mailed you a lot earlier today? Okay, point taken. I'm in Seattle right now.
I bought a few extra memory cards yesterday but couldn't find them in time for the trip. Hopefully in one of my boxes.

Upon heading out I realized that during my last plane trip one set of clasps on my backpack had been tied together so that made for an interesting challenge once I got to the ferry terminal. The ferry ride was uneventful. However, on the bus to Sequim three kids tried to get off at one point. The doors bounced back on the third kid and then the bus started to take off. Fortunately the kid managed to convey the situation to the driver in time.

I took a quick look around downtown Port Townsend and made it back to the Park & Ride there in good time. Not much more to tell about trip en route beyond there were a few times during bus rides that I was a bit squeezed.

[NOW: To clarify, my route to Seattle, as with previous trips I took the Coho ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, Clallum Transit’s 30 Commuter bus from Port Angeles to Sequim, Jefferson Transits 8 bus from Sequim to Port Townsend and their 7 bus from Sequim to Poulsbo, Kitsap Transit’s 90 bus from Poulsbo to Bainbridge, and a ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle, where I checked in again at the Green Tortoise Hostel]

I accidently left a bag of cash at the hostel front desk. Luckily I retrieved it pretty fast.
My goal is to try something different everyday I'm in Seattle so I immediately did my day 1 tasks, which was to visit the Columbia Center's 73rd story observatory. It wasn't anywhere near as scary as I thought because unlike Smith Tower it wasn't open air, and because that high up it looks like a view from a plane. Of course if you routinely toss your cookies on a plane that might not help much.
I then headed to Seattle Center, or rather first the 7-11 in front of it. In front of the 7-11 there was a, er, rubber-y item. No I didn't check to see if it had gotten any use. At the 7-11 itself the clerk was a bit rude, moving on to another customer while I counted out change and insisting I push the change over to his side of the counter.

The International Fountain wasn't working today but it also wasn't working the first day last year, so will keep checking. I went to the KCTS 9 store and got a JP Patches DVD that's only available there. I wasn't going to ride the Ride the Ducks this year because it's $25 and I did it last year, but basically I felt like it. I bought a ticket, dashed over to Silver Platters and bought a grindhouse movies DVD set, then got in line at the Ducks. The people on the Duck were more energetic than last year and unlike last year it bypassed the stadiums. For those who don't know the Ducks are amphibious so it plunged into Lake Union for the second half of the tour.

[NOW: The Fountain did indeed work in later visits]

I walked back downtown, only seeing one Monorail going the same way. Will I ride the Monorail? Absolutely, just as soon as I come up with any reason to do so. And maybe a few years down the road I'll come up with something.

[NOW: Still haven’t ridden it.]

Lots of construction this year. Reminded me of Bellevue last year. Luckily it was the only thing that reminded me of Bellevue or I'd be on my way back. Actually I fit back into my Seattle headspace pretty quickly this year, even faster than last year. I think I'm starting to think of it as a summer home of sorts.

I did some more walking at night and determined that my camera works good at night as long as the flash is on. If the flash is on it gives the illusion of daytime. Of course daytime also gives a pretty good impression of daytime so will probably save the batteries unless there's something special to take a pic of.

The hostel room is definitely cooler (temperature wise) than last year, and same sex. So people who are only interested in the "good parts" like last year might want to opt out of these. This computer terminal uses an Internet program called Safari which I hadn't heard of. Luckily the logo looks a lot like Netscape so I correctly guessed it was the Internet browser. On Safari I can only read messages by hitting Reply. Will at least that pretty much guarantees a prompt response.

Used a lot of batteries today and am on my third memory card, so will need to find a cheap source of cards (Rite Aid wants $60).

Oh yes, no fatalities today! And for those keeping tabs on my McDonald's eating, breakfast and dinner there, lunch on ferry.

[NOW: There was a murder on day 1 of my first trip and an accident on day 1 of my second trip]

One of the bathrooms (luckily they're all individual/locking) has nothing separating the toilet area from the shower area.

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